Animal Life news stories

Weird rodent glows under UV light with disco swirls of pink and orange
24th February 2021 | | Animal Life, Weird

Researchers are building a growing (and glowing) list of fluorescent mammals, and a new addition, an endearing jumping rodent called the springhare, just leapt into the spotlight, its brown fur lighting up in swirling disco patterns of pink and orange under ultraviolet (UV) rays.

First DNA extracted from modern, ancient and fossil tropical shells
24th February 2021 | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth, Humans

In Wonderland, Alice drank a potion to shrink herself. In nature, some animal species shrink to escape the attention of human hunters, a process that takes from decades to millennia.

Gorgeous Egyptian Art From 4,600 Years Ago Reveals an Extinct Goose
24th February 2021 | | Ancient, Animal Life, Humans

Artwork that had adorned the walls of an Egyptian prince’s tomb for more than four millennia has been found to contain images of a bird completely unknown to modern science – until now.

Beaver believers: Native Americans promote resurgence of ‘nature’s engineers’
24th February 2021 | | Animal Life, Humans

The rodents are often considered ‘nuisance animals’, but they can play a vital role in maintaining healthy landscapes

Australia’s oldest known rock art is a 17,000-year-old kangaroo
23rd February 2021 | | Ancient, Animal Life, Humans

A life size kangaroo painted in red ochre around 17,300 years ago is Australia’s oldest known rock art. This indicates that the earliest style of rock art in Australia focused on animals, similar to the early cave art found in Indonesia and Europe.

DNA from 360,000-year-old bone reveals oldest non-permafrost genome
23rd February 2021 | Ancient, Animal Life, Humans

Scientists have successfully sequenced the genome of an extinct cave bear using a 360,000-year-old bone—the oldest genome of any organism from a non-permafrost environment.

Earth’s magnetic field flipping linked to extinctions 42,000 years ago
19th February 2021 | | Animal Life, Earth, Humans

The most recent reversal of Earth’s magnetic field may have been as recent as 42,000 years ago, according to a new analysis of fossilised tree rings.

Million-year-old mammoth genomes shatter record for oldest ancient DNA
18th February 2021 | | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth

Permafrost-preserved teeth, up to 1.6 million years old, identify a new kind of mammoth in Siberia.

Extinction of North America’s largest animals likely caused by ancient climate change
18th February 2021 | | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth, Humans

Earlier studies have suggested that growing numbers of “big-game” hunting humans in the Americas some 14,000 years ago led to large mammals being wiped out.

Image from: Merikanto (Wiki Commons)

Fungus creates fake fragrant flowers to fool bees
17th February 2021 | | Animal Life, Earth

Fungi have been discovered making fake flowers that look and even smell like the real thing, fooling bees and other pollinating insects into visiting them.

Scientists believe they have discovered where asteroid which wiped out dinosaurs came from
17th February 2021 | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth

A “sungrazed” comet may be responsible for the extinction event around 66 million years ago.

A Peculiar Side Effect of Prozac: Fish Swimming in Our Waste Lose Their Individuality
15th February 2021 | | Animal Life, Earth, Humans

The fish on antidepressants seemed to lose their capability for individuality as a result of their exposure, with variations in behaviour between separate animals diminishing as the dose got stronger.

Life found beneath Antarctic ice sheet ‘shouldn’t be there’
15th February 2021 | | Animal Life, Earth, Humans

The inadvertent discovery of sea life on a boulder beneath an Antarctic ice shelf challenges our understanding of how organisms can live in environments far from sunlight, according to a team of biologists.

Birds can ‘read’ the Earth’s magnetic signature well enough to get back on course
12th February 2021 | Animal Life, Earth

Birdwatchers get very excited when a ‘rare’ migratory bird makes landfall having been blown off-course and flown beyond its normal range. But these are rare for a reason; most birds that have made the journey before they are able to correct for large displacements and find their final destination.

Ancient Queensland fish ‘close living relative’ to humans, scientists believe
12th February 2021 | | Ancient, Animal Life, Humans

Researchers say the Australian lungfish, native to the Burnett and Mary Rivers, is the closest living fish relative to humans and other land dwellers.

Pigs can be trained to use computer joysticks, say researchers
11th February 2021 | | Animal Life, Humans

They’ve long been thought of as smarter than your average animal, but now researchers claim they have taught pigs to use a joystick, suggesting they are even cleverer than previously thought.

News stories covering Animal Science, bacterial life, DNA.